tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 25, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
nfl security chief jeffrey miller tonight told the ap i did not watch it until it was made public on december 8th. that is "all in" for this evening. >> thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. here is my personal eric holder moment. it was not a pernl momepersonal i had with eric holder. but it was about eric holder and it was personal. it was very, very clarified. it was 2010, i was in alaska. . we were up there to cover the joe miller, lisa murkowski race that year. it looked like i had gone there to talk to lisa and that was it. looked like i was not going to get an interview with the other guy, with joe miller himself. but at one point on that trip, i did find myself on the streets of anchorage in the middle of
the next best thing to joe miller. i found myself in a crowd of joe miller's tea party supporters. and they agreed to talk to me and this is how that went. >> eric holder, we disagree want ha. >> let's look at his record beforehand. >> all i'm asking -- >> what has he done on gun safety? >> i honestly don't know enough about him to answer that truthfully. >> why are you upset about eric holder? because he's anti-gun.
i don't know all the facts, i just know he's anti-gun. >> look where he's coming from. >> i will. what pres release? about what? >> anything. just type into google, eric holder and second amendment or eric holder and firearms. you'll find plenty of ammo. >> that was a perfect man-on-the-street encapsulation of what eric holder braught out in american conservatives as attorney general. he made them so angry and so upset. he was the number one issue for them in an alaska senate primary. enemy number one. even worse than president obama himself. even if they could never quite put their finger on exactly what it was, why did we hate him so much? 82 people had the job of attorney general over the course of the history of the united states. and 80 out of the 82 of them have been white men. the one african american man we have ever had as attorney general of the united states is
eric holder. the one wait a moment we've had is janet reno. it was pure emotion to the point where it became almost pathological. visceral thing. the intent of janet reel know over the years is best represented by a joke made by senator john mccane in 1998. i will not read out loud senator mcccain's joke, but i will fiech find out that chelsea clinton was a teenager at the time john mccain made this joke about her. this is john mccane at his clasiest. it's also fairly representative about the way they insult about january et reel know.
she was the only woman to ever been attorney general of the united states. his ten your, in office he, too, got so overwell med with their emotional hatred for them. they sometimes didn't just get vie cooperative and over the top. they sometimes got weird to follow. >> you don't have access to the f.b.i. files? you don't know what the f.b.i.'s interaction was with the russians. i know what the f.b.i. did. you cannot know what i know. >> i did not assert what they did or did not do. i asserted what --
>> the gentleman will respond to that. >> when you attack somebody's integrity and say they made statements that were not true, then of course that raises a point of personal privilege. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> exposure. >> what was that at the end there? that was may of last year. so flustered by the presence of eric holder that he accused the attorney general -- flay it right there? >> the gentleman is out of order. aspersions on my asparagus. silence.
this year, in april, they met again in the same room in congress. and the follow up exchange between aspersions on my asparagus and the attorney general of the united states, the follow up exchange between the two of them produced undoubtedly the greatest sound byte yet from nid member of the obama cabinet. for the duration, nobody in his cabinet has ever had a piece of tape as good as this. this is as good as it gets. >> that's obviously a matter of the opinion of the united states. >> it is your opinion whether you tell the attorneys general how to act in the states? or whether you approach businesses or individuals that have this biblical view that the president had when he was a senator in 2008. so i thought it was rathered important. >> the time of the gentleman has
expired. unfortunately. >> good luck with your asparagus. >> eric holder, throughout his tenure as attorney general, has made republicans see red. he's driven them to destruction. i mean, they accused him of casting aspersions on their asparagus. they held him in contempt of congress. interestingly, the contempt vote was kind of an interesting, historical anomaly other than the fact it had never happened before to a member of congress. the count itself was a weird number. >> so close votes in congress. usually 200 something to 200 something. in this case, the vote on holder was 205 to 67. that's a weird number of people to is be voting on something inside the house of representatives.
that is because the vast majority was so disgusted, they didn't bother to vote no. they just walked out in a giant group in protest and refuse today have any part of the spectacle. so, yes, when the history of our nation's first black attorney general is written, a lot of it will have to be about how republicans and conservatives hated him with such unharnessed, raw i have tree yal. even so, even as a heat shield for the president, even with all of that, this attorney general will also have to go down in history as one of the more consequential attorneys general of the area. as attorney general, he
successfully sued texas for discriminatory voter idea laws in 2012. the same year, he successfully sued florida. undaunted attorney general sued texas again and also north carolina and he also had the justice department join lawsuits against ohio and wisconsin to put the justice department sc e scarily on the side of voting rights as it became mainstream republican politics to attack them. finally, rolling back the sentencing decemb sentencing disparities that turned the war on drugs into the largest prison population on earth, that was attorney genric holder.
getting the f.b.i. to start taping their investigation for the first time rve, that is attorney genric holder. oversight of local police departments to get them to stop discriminatory policing, that was attorney genric holder. oh, and rebuilding the sdpt of justice that was a smoking hulk when he got there. that, too, is attorney general eric holder. very deep in the coverage today, there's an interesting detail of what he's going to do. he's in a lame duck period where he's announced that he's retiring but he'll stay around until his replacemented can be confirmed by the senate. interestingly, the very first thing on his schedule after making his retirement announcement today? the next thing he's going to do is thoo he's going to scranton tomorrow. scranton, pennsylvania. scranton pennsylvania is not having a justice crisis of national importance.
the reason he's going to scranton tomorrow is because of the 93 u.s. attorneys in the country, the one in scranton is the only one that eric holder hasn't visited yet. he's completed his goal tomorrow of personally visiting every one of the 93 u.s. attorneys office for encouragement to try to give them all a boost. to have the highest ranking law enforcement officer come and seep their office and visit permly in their district. it's a totally fitting reminder that that pair of words was almost always followed by the word scandal. the previous administration had used the department of justice, not so much as oon ied logical laboratory, the more like an ied
dee logical burn pit. instead of professional federal prosecutors, the u.s. attorney job became something that you handed out to campaign donors. kries prosecutors, life-long civil service were pushed out like a bush-chene campaign team. they say it's the worst for the civil rights division. so part of what eric holder had to do is start to rebuild the justice department, in many ways, from the ground up. that's what the bush administration did to it. they grounded up. since he's been a.g., the one that led to the contempt vote and all the rest of it, that was
the fars and furious program which republicans got so upset about during his tenure, even that was something that had been created during the george w. bush administration. i could hear them screaming from across the street as they say it. this is going to make people feel very uncomfortable. eric molder is the one who ended it. it's the biggest knock against him that even came close to being something about policy and not just spitting and swearing in his general direction. the fact that he was made so inexplicably angry, it is an important fact as his tenure of ag. liberals fault him for not having more banks and financial institutions that caused the
economy to melt down. he chose not to prosecutorture by cia officers. the f.b.i. is allowed to exonerate itself of all wrong doing whenever it shoots somebody. there's definitely a critique from eric holder on the left. the ridiculous political fact that he was forced to reverse a decision to try alleged 9/11 perpetrators. as his tenure goes on in history, had he tried his plan to trial sheik in federal court in the united states, by now, islamists, those guys would be tried, convicted and tucked neatly away in a federal prison somewhere. because he was turned back, instead, their cases continue to language and be a spectacle of
how we don't nope what we want to do with them. attorney genric holder's list of accomplishments is a long list. on civil rights in particular, he's going to be remembered not just for what the department of justice did under his leaders p leadership, but for his willingness to speak bluntly and personally about civil rights and race. >> the news of trayvon martin's death last year reminded me of my father's words so many years ago. and they brought me back to a number of experiences i had as a young man when i was pulled over twice and my car zensearched one new jersey turnpike when i'm sure i wasn't speeding. or while i was stopped by a police officer when i was running to catch a movie at night in georgetown in washington, d.c. i was, at the time of that last incident, a federal prosecutor.
trayvon's death caused me to sit douchb and havecaused me to sitd have a conversation with my own 15-year-old son. this was a conversation that i hoped would not need to be handed down. it's a father who loves his son and is more knowing in the ways of the world. i had to do this to protect my boy. i am his father. and it is my responseblety to not burden him with the bad news of an era long gone, but to make him aware of an era he must still confront. >> that was eric holder speaking last year. this year, when michael brown was shot and killed in ferg son-in-law missouri and his body was left in the street for hours
afterwards and that city erupted night after night for weeks. it was a personal visit from eric holder, the attorney general, who seemed to be the only one who could calm ferguson down after those weeks of eruptions. today, hi announced his retire. when he spoke, he was very emotional. as you saw, he was a man willing to speak in personal terms about hard things. i'm not sure we have ever seen him as emotional in public as he was today. my parents, eric and miriiam holder nurtured me and my accomplished brother william and made us believe in the value of individual effort and the greatness of this nation.
my timely public service which now comes to an end without the sacrifices of three of the best kids someone could ask for. finally, i want to thank the woman who sacrificed the most and allowed me to follow my dreams. she's the dpofoundation of all t our family is and the basis of all that i have become. my wife, sharon, is the unsung hero. and she is my life partner. thank you for all that you have done. id love you. >> after the attorney general finished that speech today, president obama gave him a hug and said to him off camera, you could hear the president say good job. you got through it. eric holder stepping down today as the only attorney general who has served thus far during the
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sit down and have a conversation with me about how, as a young black man, i should intersakt with the police, what to say, how to conduct myself if i was ever stopped or confronted in a way that i thought was unwarranted. nchtsd n now, i'm sure my father felt certain at that time that my parents' generation would be the last that had to worry about such things for their children. >> u.s. attorney genric holder talking last year before the naacp. attorney genric holder announced his retirement. head was pretty easily for the post for 2009. but then he very quickly became a lightning rod for, if we're honest, uncaged krit schism. there is no bigger boogieman on the right than attorney genric holder, and i'm including president obama himself. what shoes does this leave to fill? and how difficult will it nak to
confirm anybody president obama might want to choose for the job after him. joining us is president and director counsel of naacp. thank you very much for being here. it's a real pleasure to have you here. >> thanks for having me. >> what do you think eric holder's most enduring legacy will be? obviously we know that the nation's first african american general, that will be the first ri line that's said about him in history books. but what else is going to make history? >> i think he has been so courageous and so bold in two areas that i think are too often not really focused on when people think about attorney general of the united states. the first one is the civil rights area that you talked about. what the attorney jern has done and his willingness to speak powerfully about the attorney general. many people know that the attorney general's sister in law was vivian malone, the first
woman to desegregate the yumpbt of alabama. he feels deeply in his personal self. and he was willing to speak powerfully about civil rights. you talk about the voting rights case that he's worked on, we've litigated shoulder-to-shoulder. the texas voter id case both in 2012 this year. at the day of the shelby county decision, he had the civil rights legal teams into his office to say that we're going to make sure that we protect the voting rights of racial minorities. he already had a plan for how he was going to redeploy lawyers within the department to ensure that those remained in place. the second thing is the work that he's done around criminal justice. remember, the attorney general is the cheeief law enforcer. a prosecutor, and he was willing
to expend some of that capital to speak the truth about overincarceration in this country. and then put his money where his mouth is and address it. i can't imagine someone doing that in the future. reorganizing the clemency process at the federal level to ensure that those who are in jail for overly long terms for nonviolent drug offenders have an option to use the clemency process. this is extraordinary. he could do it because he's willing to be kra jousz and set a tone and set a port folio for himself that is not like any that we've seen. >> that's a super-important point.
>> i want to ask you about his tone a little bit. we left off about good luck with your asparagus. in part, because i feel like it's the sort of under-appreciated and interesting thing about him that he was so pugnacious with his critics that he would, you know, he said to the congressman at one point, don't go there, buddy. he was willing to wave his finger and people and command r. for the office chlts do you feel that as a matter of public presentation, that that was a hard thing to calibrate that it was alms right with him? >> it was hard for him to calibrate.
i think what many people appreciated about it is it was just so honest. he was who he is and he was not willing to allow people to cross a certain line with him. as an african american, for many of us, it was very important for us to see this attorney general do that. he was being attacked in ways that we found so disrespectful. attacks on whether or not he was sbel jent. attacks on his integrity. we know that the president has had to walk a fine line. he's a politician. he's the president of the united states. so in some ways, many of us have been very relieved to have the attorney general be able to forcefully stand up for himself, many of us felt in some ways that he was defending our collective deg anity. we don't believe he would have been attacked in the ways he was attacked and the disrespectful ways he was attacked if he were not african american.
and he, himself was willing to say that. to say i'll only allow you to go so far, even as attorney general of the united states. >> that's right. and he leave it is office not letting anybody to shrink it an inch because of the way that attacked him. thank you for that point. >> thanks, rachel. >> we've got lots more tonight. a lot of back and forth that has finally been approved for family viewing. stay with us. that's ahead. >> one cannot truly understand america without understanding the hiss xx kal experience of black people in this nation.
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so i know it. you know it. we do not talk enough on this show about polish politics. headlines have been dom nated by events in the middle east, iraq, syria, the out going war between russia and the ukraine. the near breakup of the united kingdom. somehow, poland, nothing. well, that shameful failure ends tonight because it must. next new thing in the world coming up at the end of the show tonight. one of the best things we've done on this program in a very long time. i almost can't wait.
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ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a free 30-tablet trial. so they are coming back to vote. i thought it would never happen, but they are coming back to vote. more than a month after the air strikes started in iraq, apparently, that wasn't enough to get them to vote and authorize on this thing. now that it's not just an air war in iraq, but in a second country, syria, as well, they have finally decided to end their vacation, to come home from their legislative districts and they're going to vote. and, yes,it is a surprise. tomorrow, though, they are going
to vote. it's finally going to happen. amazing. i speak, of course, about the british parliament. their prime minister supports that kind of campaign. but british military forces have not been participating in it thus far because parliament hants aut rised the british military to do that. that's why they are coming back for a vote. if the vote is yes, british war planes will be ready to take off immediate immediately after the vote is taken. here, not so much. boeh nrk boehner says the congress should debate military action.
he wantings it to be the new one, the next congress, as in the one that isn't elected yet that will convene next year in 2015. speaker boehner telling the times today i don't think that's right way to handle this. of course, it wasn't the right way to handle it before they went home for their vacation. up until this point, we have been operating under the assumption that our congress had two options. now that the war is started in syria, we figure they had two options. congress could come back from the two-month vacation they just gave themselves and vote on authorizing the war, like the brits are doing, or, if they wanted to rule us out, they could stay on vacation until the elections in november and then come back in the elections in
the lame duck session and vote on the war then. today, john boehner opened up door number three. no vote once the war extended into a second country, no vote before the election. now he says no vote after the election. it's kind of like they don't want to vote on this thing at all. which is amazing in its own right given the constitution. what's more amazing is while the leadership in congress says not their thing, they just want to stay home. watch this.
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guts. glory. ram. west will never end. hi, are we still on for tomorrow? tomorrow. quick look at the weather. nice day, beautiful tomorrow. tomorrow is full of promise. we can come back tomorrrow. and we promise to keep it that way. driven to preserve the environment, csx moves a ton of freight nearly 450 miles on one gallon of fuel. what a day. can't wait til tomorrow. hi michael! looking good! trying to keep up with you! i told my producer karen that i take metamucil because it helps me feel fuller between meals. it's just one small change that can help lead to good things. now she's breaking up with the vending machine. nope. i call that the meta effect.
can you referee a game while also playing in that game? it's a sin tral, unanswered question in the race for control of the united states senate this year. in the great state of kansas, the stre state election that's unfolding right now, this man, chris kobach is the top elections official in the state. he's the republican. it's the self-described referee in that case. he's made a series of calls that all happen to favor his o own side in that senate race.
and then trying to order state democrats to let the guy go. the republican senator facing split opposition from both the democratic candidate and the independent candidate. chris koba krurks h wants to force it to be a three-way race in kansas and that helps greatly enhance the chances for incouple bant. republican chris rob ert social security not only from the same party, he's also a member of the campaign committee. so chris kobach describes himself as the referee. but in terms of the pat roberts es campaign, he's also sort of a player in the game. this week, casey hunt went to kansas and asked him about his dual roles in this race. watch.
>> i think eloquent positioning. i'm one of the cast of a thousand. i'm an honorary committee where robert's people call the office and all the elected repushily cans in the state say hey, would you be our honorary committee? it's a leaderless position. if we had any controversy surrounding the senate race where people were potentially violating our election, then, no, i can't. so just to be courteous. >> and you don't want to limit yourself now from that activity? >> it would be a purely symbolic gesture at this point. the bottom line is i have to enforce the law as written. >> that's the chris kobach part of the senate race. the other new big factor here is
that national republicans have been propping up the campaign of pat rob ert which is looks like it's in real trouble. he blamed senator ted cruz for shutting down the government and costing crucial republican votes. the former governor asked sarah palin championed for standing with ted cruz. on the way to that same government shutdown under obama care. >> one of the few senators fulfilling campaign promises, standing there on the floor with senator ted criz to do what they could to get rid of obamacare.
>> does he want to be a folk hero with the ted cruz? the hard-working put that question to pat roberts today. watch what they say. . how about that. asked to choose between two seemly reconcilable. for the shutdown or against the shutdown. pat rob erts picks both. joining us now from overland park, casey hunt, msnbc political correspondent who seems to be having a really good time out there. we've been having a wonderful time out there. thanks for having me, rachel. >> watching all that's happening, how does it seem like things are going for pat roberts?
>> being on the ground here, i would say it became abundantly clear how difficult this race is going to be. the conservative part of the state thor a yeah where pat roberts used to represent in the house. and if the voters there aren't excited about him, it's going to be hard for him to get the tlaks he needs to win this race. and the voters i talked to there, most of them had come to see bob dole and a number of even republicans said they were still trying to decide. so at this point, it's for roberts becoming a race against time. so they did send in national operatives here to kansas to try to redo his campaign. once it became clear that orman was going to be a real threat. but the campaign they're mounting now is one that under normal circumstances, they would have mounted six months ago. they're trying to paint orman as a liberal democrat. they're trying to turn this back into a traditional party fight. >> how is orman holding up against the criticism. it's being mounted against him later than it usually would in a
typical campaign. how is he dealing with this as a candidate now that they brought in all these national republican bigwigs? >> so i spoke with orman on this trip and he is somebody who comes across as a pretty polished candidate for someone who is new to the arena. he's comfortable in a retail setting. he's funny. he tells jokes. you know, he's still getting his footing under him in some ways. familiar some areas where he wasn't 100% sure footed in his answers, but i think what what's really going to be the test is how they handle the research. again, a little bit late in the game. they're criticizing him for his business ties primarily. he's a millionaire investor. he'll be one of the rich e men in the that the if he's elected. the orman campaign sort of went
underground for a little while as the allegations first surfaced. his campaign team has been very focused on trying to push back against those. we'll see if they continue to be able to weather those attacks successfully or whether roberts starts to get traction and starts to push orman's numbers back down to earth. robert himself is really unpopular. so at this point, it's potentially becoming a race to the bottom. >> casey hunt live for us in kansas. thanks for having you here. this is one of those races where it's like, you know, the whole senate, the control of the senate is on the line. and so you might be covering every boring senate race around the country because every one of potentially could be the one that controls the senate. but it wouldn't matter if nothing else was on the line. this kansas senate race is so off the hook it's unbelievable it's happening in kansas. the epic pure joy of the best new thing in the world is worth staying here for. [coughing]
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but at ge capital, we're builders. what we know, can help you grow. >> i've been look forward to this all day. best new thing in the world. this is one of those stories that seems it might be going somewhere terrible. i swear it has a happy ending. it's also a story that seems like maybe it could be just an b elaborate metaphor for something political or something? it might be. you could make it that. but it is purely excellent on its own terms. i urge you to just take it as the pure joy that it is. it starts in poland where the town's pride and joy is its zoo. lions and tigers and bears, right? also elephants and giraffes. at this zoo they have a whole section for farm animals.
and there you will find these two love birds who have lived there for the past decade. the donkey on the left is named napoleon. his lady friend on the right is antusia. and the zoo loves these donkeys. they're called their pair of loveable donkeys. they market them, they love them. they've been together for ten years. they are very loving as a couple. throughout their decade-long relationship, they have produced six offspring thus far. the youngest just two months old. ten years on, the magic is still there, clearly. the problem is that napoleon and antosia while loving each other very much and very frequently, they live in a zoo. and apparently some of the visitors of the zoo have taken offense to the point they have complained at what they are seeing between these two donkeys. they have complained to this woman, a local politician with the conservative law and justice party in poland.
she said she, too, was horrified by the donkeys at the zoo. she was so grossed out, she prevailed upon the zoo's director that the zoo should separate them, put them in separate pens, basically so they could not do the deed. look at them, pining for one another from across the chain link fence. after ten years of never being apart. are you feeling outrage? i am feeling outrage. and a significant chunk of the polish public got outraged as well. this is just sort of the facebook fan pages created in honor of the donkeys pleading with the zoo to end the forced separation. thousands of polish petitiociti signed a petition to reunite
them even though this local politician was offended by this. it was such bad press that this morning just one week after the separation was imposed, the zoo announced they had a change of heart. i got their actual statement here. this is their statement. they said it was, quote, never our intention for any animals to feel uncomfortable because of their natural behaviors. and so ta-da! look. best new thing in the world. this morning, napoleon and antosia were reunited along with their youngest foal. they're all together again as a family. this is the photo caption. napoleon the donkey with his legs in the air is clearly delighted to have his antosia back in the pen. how do they know? maybe he just needed to scratch an itch, who knows. also i think that's her and not him.
ten years on for this couple, the magic is obviously still there. these donkeys are honeymooners for life. now they can just live, eat, sleep, raise their donkey baby and be in love without input from easily offended human politicians. the end. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> who knew poland has a tea party also. >> and that's twwhat they care about. >> amazing. we have breaking news tonight about nfl commissioner roger goodell, but first a new video of a police officer shooting an unarmed black man. yes, another one. just the kind of shooting the department of justice under eric holder has been investigating. but we now know those investigations will be completed under a new attorney general.